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Did You Hear? CBRE Global Investors Exec Prepares Exit Strategy

A Daily Look at the Movers and Shakers in Commercial Real Estate
October 3, 2018

Mike McMenomy and Bernie McNamara

When it comes to economic cycles that play so prominently in commercial real estate investment, Mike McMenomy has seen it all. He recalls the crushing interest rates of the late 1970s, the rebound from the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s, the “tech correction” in the early 2000s and the Great Recession that started in late 2007.

As he prepares for his ultimate exit from Los Angeles-based CBRE Global Investors though, he’s watching an economic boom that just passed the 1960s expansion to become the second-longest ever recorded in the United States, at nine years and two months, and counting. “We’re bumping up against the largest recovery and expansion” is U.S. history, he said.

McMenomy notes that the boom certainly has benefited commercial real estate and the investors he advises as global head of investor services. It’s helped solidify real estate as an elite investment class. “It delivers powerful attributes that investors seek compared to other asset classes, including strong dividend returns relative to the [Standard & Poor’s 500 stock market index] and lower volatility,” he said.

Since 2005, McMenomy has led CBRE Global Investors’ capital raising efforts, delivering nearly $80 billion in equity commitments. Last week, as part of a three-year succession plan, the company announced it hired Bernie McNamara as co-head of Investor Services and Solutions. McNamara joins the firm from J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where he spent the last seven years as head of alternative investment strategy.

“Thoughtful strategic succession planning is a high priority,” McMenomy explained.

For the next year, McMenomy and McNamara will work together on a unit that has $102 billion of assets under its management. A year from now, “I will become his right-hand man,” McMenomy said of McNamara.

CBRE Global Investors conducted a year-long search to find McNamara, who will team with McMenomy in interacting with investors and helping develop and manage customized investment portfolios for them. McNamara’s work leading J.P. Morgan’s alternative investments group is what "distinguished him from other candidates,” McMenomy said.

Right now, investors continue to prefer industrial real estate, McMenomy noted, adding that "The industry has embraced an ‘industrial revolution,'" and state-of-the-art logistics and distribution facilities “are the most highly sought-after” assets. Looking ahead, McMenomy is “thinking about” how he’ll scale back next year as he begins to transition out of his role.

Did you know?  McMenomy has worked for CBRE and CBRE Global Investors for his entire 39-year commercial real estate career. He started at CBRE the same year he married his wife, Karen, and together, they are heavily involved in the medical center charity City of Hope.

Federal Realty Execs Officially Jump to Urban Edge

Chris Weilminster and Don Briggs

After working 28 years at Federal Realty Investment Trust, where he most recently served as president of its mixed-use division, Chris Weilminster has joined Urban Edge Properties as chief operating officer.

Don Briggs, Federal Realty’s former executive vice president of development, also left the firm to become president of development at Urban Edge.

Urban Edge announced in August that Weilminster and Briggs would be joining its company “on or before December 31, 2018.” Last week the company said both had officially started Sept. 27. With Weilminster’s hiring, Bob Minutoli has stepped down from his role as chief operating officer but agreed to stay with the company till year end to ensure a smooth transition.

Urban Edge is a New York-based real estate investment trust specializing in owning and managing shopping centers on, as its name implies, the edge of urban neighborhoods. Urban Edge said in a statement that the hiring of Weilminster and Briggs, who worked 18 years at Federal Realty, brings “two of the retail real estate industry’s most-accomplished executives to Urban Edge.”

“With their experience, creativity and leadership, we are well positioned to redevelop our existing assets and seize on acquisition opportunities we expect will be coming,” Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Olson said.

In addition to having been a key executive at Federal Realty, Weilminster also is a founding partner of Five Guys Enterprises, owner of the popular Northern Virginia-based hamburger and fries chain, and Pieology Pizzeria. Weilminster said the opportunity to work with Urban Edge’s portfolio and help grow it played a key role in his decision to join the REIT. “The infill nature of Urban Edge’s properties makes them ideal candidates for bold, creative thinking,” he said.

As part of their employment agreement, Weilminster and Briggs will receive equity awards. Also each will be awarded options to purchase 1 million shares of Urban Edge stock with a 10-year term, according to a release from the company.

Urban Edge’s geographic reach focuses on the Eastern Seaboard, from Washington to Boston, with an emphasis on New York City. It also is seeking acquisition opportunities in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Several of its largest holdings are in New Jersey, including the 400,788-square-foot Plaza at Cherry Hill shopping center and Brunswick Commons in East Brunswick, in addition to a 942,220-square-foot warehouse in East Hanover.

more moves

Cushman Charlotte Grabs JLL Broker

Global commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is fortifying its tenant representation team with a top broker from rival Jones Lang LaSalle.

Cushman said it hired Matt Bowen, who joined the firm as a managing director specializing in helping companies with their office space needs. At JLL, Bowen was recognized as a top achiever.

He has more than a decade of experience representing tenants in negotiations for leases, renewals, relocations, expansions and dispositions. Bowen’s client list includes Cardinal Financial, UBS Financial Services and Charter Communications.

CBRE Hires San Antonio Retail Sales Broker from Cushman

Bradley Suttle has joined CBRE’s San Antonio, Texas, office as a vice president, where he will lead the retail investment sales team.

Suttle joins CBRE after working four years at Cushman & Wakefield / San Antonio Commercial Advisors, where he served as director of retail investment sales across San Antonio and South Texas. To date, Suttle has sold 1 million square feet of retail space with an aggregate value topping $100 million.

He said he expects to see more retail sales opportunities as the San Antonio retail market “continues to grow and evolve with the city.”

Andrews Joins IA’s Atlanta Office as Design Director

Interior Architects (IA), a San Francisco-based creator of workplace environments, has hired Mican Allen Andrews as design director of its Atlanta office. Andrews joined IA from architecture and interior design firm Nelson, where he was a project manager.

In his new role, Andrews will oversee all design work for the company and mentor design staff. Andrews brings 18 years of experience in commercial design that includes creating workspaces for Comcast, Bank of America and Eaton Lighting.

Did You Hear? is a new column focusing on real estate's movers and shakers. Send new executive hires and promotion announcements to  |  Check out yesterday's issue of Did You Hear? and follow the news on Twitter @TheCoStarGroup and @TWilbert.

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